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[I]-A NEW WORLD AWAITS YOU | [II]-ATTITUDES OF HEART AND MIND | [III]-HEART WITH YOU | [IV]-INNER PARTICIPATION | [V]-RECITATION
The Qur'an was first sent down to the "Heart" or the inner person of the Prophet (peace be upon him). You will therefore reap its full joys only when you are able to involve your inner self in your recitation. This will not prove difficult if you are mindful that you are reading the words of Allah, in His presence, and if you understand and reflect over what you read. Such a state of involvement may be achieved and intensified in certain other ways too
Always keep reminding yourself of what the Qur'an itself tells of those who receive it with their hearts, and how the Prophet (peace be upon him), his companions and others used to involve themselves in it.
AND WHEN THEY HEAR WHAT HAS BEEN SENT DOWN TO THE MESSENGER, YOU SEE THEIR EYES OVERFLOW WITH TEARS BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY RECOGNISE OF TRUTH. THEY CRY, OUR LORD! WE BELIEVE; SO YOU DO WRITE US DOWN AMONG THE WITNESSES (TO THE TRUTH). (Holy Qur'an 5:86)
You have already prepared yourself to receive the Qur'an as being addressed to you from Allah, and as being fully relevant to your times. Now consider that the message in each verse is meant for you personally, whether it be a norm or value, a statement or piece of knowledge, a promise or a warning, a command or a prohibition.
Your heart should then come alive and respond to the various notes and themes that are stuck in it by different verses. Make it pass through the various states of adoration and praise, awe and wonder, hope and despair, assurance and anxiety, love and fear, happiness and sorrow, devotion and submission.
These states of heart should find expression through your tongue. That is how the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite the Qur'an in his night prayers. He used to say Subhanallah after verses telling of the majesty and glory of Allah, and Alhamdullillah after verses describing His bounties and graces. He sought forgiveness and refuge with Allah and asked for His favours and bounties after verses containing corresponding themes.
The heart should also overflow through the eyes to express its involvement. Often the Prophet (peace be upon him), his companions and others, who had a real encounter with the Qur'an, would weep when they recited it. You may even make yourself cry, if you think of the heavy responsibilities, the warnings and the joys that the Qur'an brings to you.
The whole purpose of the Qur'an is to guide you and to change you by bringing you into submission to Allah. As you read it, also try to live by what it invites you to. If it does not have any impact upon your actions and if you do not observe what it enjoins and avoid what it prohibits, then you are not getting anywhere nearer the Qur'an. In fact, one who reads the Qur'an and does not try to act upon it may be more likely to be cursed and punished by Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Many of hypocrites in my Ummah will be from among the reciters" (Ahmad); and "He is not a believer in the Qur'an who makes halaal (permissible) what it has made haraam is prohibited)" (Tirmidhi). It is narrated that, companions like 'Uthman and Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, once they learnt ten verses from the Prophet (peace be upon him), did not move further unless they had "learnt" it fully -- both in understanding and in action; that is how they sometimes spent years in learning only one surah.
If you sincerely and determinedly start changing your life according to the Qur'an, Allah will certainly help you and make the path easy for you.